Your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I- Isaiah 58:8 NIV
Our world is awash in what can only be described as systemic brokenness.
Individuals are broken. Families are broken. Culture is broken. Political systems are broken.
It’s really kind of gross.
The collective brokenness has led to an epidemic of sexual deviancy and gender confusion, personal woundedness, political bedlam, cultural decay, addiction, offense, psychological damage, loneliness and wrecked relationships.
On a practical level this means most folks don’t even know which bathroom to use anymore and biologists are the only ones “qualified” to define what a woman is or isn’t anymore and some of them struggle. Politics are so fractured the two sides cannot even have a rational discussion anymore. Few bother getting married any more and half of marriages end in divorce. Public schools are propagandizing kids with sex education so weird and revolting it would have been considered hardcore pornography just a few years ago. Sadly, people have become so isolated the government is thinking about ways they can help solve the burgeoning loneliness problem.
Everywhere we look people are separated from God and each other.
It sucks. A lot.
Followers of Jesus sincerely believe God has a better plan for this world than what we are seeing and experiencing at this moment in history. One fundamental facet of Christian theology is the belief Jesus came not just to seek and save the lost— but also to bind-up the broken hearted and bring beauty from ashes (Luke 19:10, Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 61:1-3). Christians believe redemption is about more than just individual people getting into heaven. Salvation is about redeemed people experiencing abundant life as we journey our way to heaven and bringing heaven to earth with our actions and attitudes (Matthew 6:10, John 10:10, Matthew 5:13-15). This faith we have in Jesus’ ability to repair, rebuild, heal and transform should drive us to be a part of the change we want to see in our culture, our educational structures, our political system and in the lives of the people we love.
Sometimes we struggle with the how.
I don’t know everything there is to know about everything (clearly). Nevertheless, there is one thing I know for absolute certain: we cannot lead anywhere we refuse to go. Therefore, there will be no healing in our world without some heartfelt and brutally honest self-examination on the part of all Christians. Even those who sincerely FEEL they are doing just fine from a spiritual perspective (2ndCorinthians 13:5). I know this is a wildly unpopular perspective in the church, however, I have come to believe with all my heart, mind, soul and strength that the one thing holding the world back from a real and much-needed revival are Christians who are reluctant to admit there might possibly be sin in their own lives.
God will not transform our sin-sick culture until Christians get their own houses in order (1st Peter 4:17) and not a moment sooner. This means we must recognize that no matter how good we are or how far we’ve come God wants to take us further and make us better. Growth and personal transformation prepare us to lead others out of their brokenness.
Prayer is a critical step in any process of transformation. There are some things that cannot happen without serious prayer (Mark 9:29. Daniel 9:3, Acts 14:23) Sadly, numerous studies reveal the typical western Christian prays a grand total of three minutes a day. Seriously. It’s true. Three minutes. We spend five hours a day on our phones and three minutes a day in prayer. I assume those who read this blog are above average in this area. Which simply means we need to be praying all the more for our average and below average Christian counterparts. God moves when His people want Him to move. Prayer is the way we show God we’re serious about wanting Him to move.
If we are going to fix our mess we must look for areas of brokenness in our little corner of the world and then chip away at the ugliness we see with equal measures of grace and truth (Ephesians 4:32, 2nd Timothy 4:2, 1st Peter 4:10). When we make space in our lives to get to know a single mom or engage with a homeless person, or simply take time to talk with our neighbors it gives us the right to speak truth into people’s lives (Ephesians 4:15). No matter how we choose to do it, it is critical we seek the Lord for creative ways to engage the messy, broken, difficult people in our world. Christians were saved to be salt in our world. Salt is a preservative, it keeps things (and whole cultures) from going bad. However, salt cannot preserve anything it doesn’t come into contact with (Matthew 5:13). Relationships are a messy but necessary piece of healing brokenness.
As we prayerfully engage others, it’s equally critical we understand our role. Our role is to do our part and trust God to transform people. We must constantly remind ourselves God is God and we are not and fight the inclination to try and control outcomes. We cannot make anyone do anything. Outcomes must be left to the Lord but He moves when we move.